Friday, June 25, 2010


DH and I spent some time in the woods with some campers.  We learned a lot for a one-night stay. The camp is in a place designated as Grizzly Bear country so the campers stayed in cabins.  DH and I weren't too worried about bears. The noise of these campers would be enough to frighten any wild creature for miles.  That is why we slept away from the cabins in the back of DH's Subaru Outback.

Q:  How do you tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly bear?

(photo from
A:  When you see the bear, climb a tree.  If it climbs up the tree and kills you, it's a black bear.

If it knocks the tree down and kills you, it's a grizzly bear.

Get even with a bear who raids you food bag by kicking his favorite stump apart and eating all the ants.  If that doesn't work find his favorite bee tree and steal the honey from the beehive.

A hot rock placed in your sleeping bag will keep your feet warm.  A hot enchilada will do as well, but the cheese sticks between your toes.

The elastic waistband from your brother's Fruit of the Looms makes an excellent headband.

When camping, always wear a long sleeved shirt.  It gives you something to wipe your nose on.

Take this simple test to see if you qualify for solo camping.  Shine a flashlight in one ear.  If the beam shines out the other ear, do not go into the woods alone.

A two-man pup ten does not include two men or a pup.

A potato baked in the coals for one hour makes an excellent side dish.  A potato baked in the coals for three hours makes an excellent hockey puck.

Did you hear about the bones they found on the moon?  It seems the cow did not make it.

Last night was perfect camping weather; a little overcast (see moon photo). 
A little rain to settle the dust and very few mosquitoes.

CeeCee's contribution to bear identification:  

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

COOL STUFF! and GIVEAWAY reminder.

The big hike was a great adventure.  The weather couldn't have been better.

The kids saw lots of cool stuff:  like wild flowers, interesting plants and trees, and bugs and birds and even a lizard or two.

There was a creek to play in.  Its source is a warm spring just up the hill.

DH came along and told us about edible plants.  He showed us how to make whistles out of pop grass.
He's spent many years as a scout master so he has plenty of experience working with youngsters in the outdoors. 

We lunched in the shade.

The hikers all got an arrowhead like the ones used by Native Americans.  DH makes them as a hobby and was kind enough to produce enough for everyone in the group.

Don't forget about the GIVEAWAY.  See my previous post for information.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Our latest drive through Grand Teton National Park was on a threatening-to-rain day.  The jagged peaks of the mountains were veiled by dark clouds.  Then there were moments when the overcast would thin out enough to send light across the valley.  Even though I have an abundance of photos of the Tetons, I still took more. 

With these pictures as reference, and adding what I’ve seen at other times, I drew a value sketch for a watercolor.

I transferred the sketch to a sheet of Arches 140-lb. cold-pressed paper.  Using an 18x12 inch format I masked out the edges of the mountains to preserve the snow fields and tree edges. Then I layed down initial washes for the clouds and foreground.

After the initial washes were dry I dropped in a few darker colors.

Moving from background to foreground I added details to the mountains.

The trees backlit by the sun breaking through were next.  I love trees, but they have so many details.  The important thing is knowing how much to leave out. I like to think of Antoine deSaint Exupry’s quote, “Perfection is finally attained, Not when there is no longer anything to add—But when there is no longer anything to be taken away.”  
I have a long way to go to perfection.

The valley floor of Jackson Hole is mostly covered with sage brush where big animals like buffalo and elk browse. The leaves of the brush have a grey-blue tint that added nicely to the color scheme.

So there it is; TETONS AND SAGE, a souvenir of an enjoyable afternoon in one of my favorite places. 
Driving over the pass through a downpour was another story.

Now if you've hung in here this long I have a GIVEAWAY!  
A long time ago I sold a little watercolor named West Wind to a friend (my mom wasn't there to buy my stuff that day) at a street fair.  
Recently my friend bought a home in another state and had to downsize possessions. She returned the little painting so now I'm giving away.  It is 4.5X6.5 inches in an 8X10 matt. I won't include the frame since it would be difficult to ship.  

 Leave a message on this post and/or any of my new posts between now and Friday afternoon MDT June 25, 2010. ONE entry per post.  You must have a blog to enter. I will notify the winner on Saturday. I'll need an email address then.